Facebook Repeatedly Deleting Hong Kong Opposition Groups
Feb 6, 2010
Today’s South China Morning Post reports how Hong Kong’s political opposition has faced repeated deletion of their Facebook groups.
Read the article here (behind paywall), but some key points raised:
A Facebook group with 84,298 members formed to oppose the pro-establishment DAB was deleted
Kelvin Sit Tak-O, who runs a discussion group that opposes the pro-establishment party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), said his group’s Facebook page was shut down without notice on Thursday. The group had 84,298 members and was aiming for 100,000.
How were they deleted?
The closures could have been triggered by opponents flagging the group as “abusive” with Facebook administrators, Mr. Sit speculated. A spokesperson for Facebook was not immediately available for comment.
This is not the first time it has happened to Hong Kong opposition groups
Controversial Facebook groups were closed in 2008 in the run-up to the Olympic torch relay passing through Hong Kong, as Beijing grew especially sensitive to issues such as Tibetan self-determination. Christina Chan Hau-man, a student protester who waved a Tibetan flag during the torch relay and used Facebook to rally support, had her account closed days before the event. At the time, she said she was told her page had been closed because of “persistent misuse of the site”.
Ironically, this comes as Hong Kong government is pushing to engage citizens online, with a 3-hour online forum taking place today.